This item is from the international wing of the ANH. Normally these emails can be viewed in one's browser, but in this case I can't connect. You probably won't be able to access the first article in the email message either. However, the point is encapsulated in the Director's summary. Fat-shaming is out, but the topic is more urgent than ever. We need to have conversations about obesity — and stop taking it for granted as a "normal, healthy" condition, or one that would cause painful embarrassment.

ANH-Intl eAlert No 324
| 26 October 2016
In the grip of Big Food
It’s become politically incorrect to use the F word these days. And I’m not talking profanity here. I’m referring to three innocuous letters F-A-T, which have become synonymous with demeaning self-esteem and casting aspersions on someone’s character. Just last week, the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency banned an ad for a weight loss product because it suggested “that those with insecurities about their bodies, and particularly their weight, could only achieve happiness and self-confidence through weight loss.”

Such is the stigma of the word ‘fat’, that even doctors in the UK are dissuaded from suggesting a patient may benefit from losing weight, yet the obesity crisis is literally crippling the healthcare system and threatening the very fabric of society.

The EU’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation is one of the greatest obscenities in policy intended to reduce obesity. Although history will ultimately be the judge, it is quite possible that the adoption of this regulation EU-wide will contribute further to obesity as it limits people’s ability to discriminate between healthy and unhealthy foods. With terms like superfood, probiotic, prebiotic and antioxidant banned when used to refer to the beneficial effects of foods or supplements, the UK will do very well to leave this EU regulation out of its rulebook post-Brexit.

The thread that runs through both our articles this week relates to Big Food and corporate profits before people’s health.

Please read and share.

Yours in health, naturally

Rob Verkerk, PhD
Founder, executive & scientific director